Haf y Ddraig / Dragon Summer

Join us in the beautiful West Wales countryside for a bookbinding workshop retreat. The fully-equipped studio is housed in former barns and stables of our historic home and the grounds provide a haven from everyday life. We will enjoy learning, eating and relaxing together.
Our 2024 summer residential event comprises three consecutive two-day classes plus two pre-and post-workshop options:

7 June
8-9 June
10-11 June
12-13 June
14 June

Optional leisure day to spend “chilling” or exploring the area
Mansard box; tutor Dieter Räder
Exposed spine binding with decorative sewing; tutor Thomas Schmitz
Limp leather sketchbook; tutor Philippa Räder
Optional studio day to work on personal projects in consultation with the tutors

Registration is entirely flexible. While we encourage attendance for the whole event, to fully benefit from a good period of time immersed in extending your skills, each class can be individually booked.
Class fees include all materials and meals. There will be a small per-day catering charge for each of the optional days.
Accommodation in the house is available to book on a first-come/first-served basis, as well as a couple of pre-erected, comfortably furnished tents; camping with your own gear is free. Otherwise there are several local B&Bs.

Classes are limited to eight students so tutors can give each person individual attention: enrol early to secure your place!

Per class
Per optional extra day
Per night room in the house
Per night in provided tent
Bringing your own tent

Get your printable booking form

Please contact us here for booking information

download a printable booking form


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Thomas Schmitz 
Master Bookbinder: 42 years of self-employed bookbinding; more than 30 years as an instructor.
Education in schools, craft workshops for children and young people, craft shops for adults, Intensive training for bookbinders preparing to qualify as a Master Bookbinder.
Versatile knowledge of binding techniques and material properties.

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Dieter Räder 

Dieter has been binding books for the past forty years. He started by serving a full bookbinding apprenticeship in Germany before spending a year teaching bookbinding, then working for two years as a bookbinder in Marseilles and Vienna. Arriving in the UK in 1983 for a holiday, he decided to stay and worked in London for two years under the guidance of Robert Green, specializing in the restoration of antiquarian books and fine bindings. In the early nineties he opened his own bindery in Somerset which he ran for over eighteen years. In 2009 Dieter established and managed the new fine binding and restoration department of a commercial bindery in west London, where he also held workshops. In early 2017, Dieter returned to full-time private practice. His clients range from individual private collectors and booksellers to major university libraries, museums, and the Royal Collection.
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Philippa Räder

An Accredited Conservator-Restorer member of the
Institute of Conservation (Icon) and a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation. She co-runs Dragon Press Bindery, specialising in books, manuscripts and archives conservation as well as letterpress-printing commissions.

A graduate in English from Cambridge University, Philippa trained in book and paper conservation at the Getty Research Institute, California. As well as practising privately, she has held positions at the Huntington Library in California, The National Archives in Kew and the Royal Collection Trust, where she was Head of the Royal Bindery in Windsor Castle until September 2019.

As a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers, Philippa serves on its charitable foundation committee that provides financial assistance to students enrolled in education within the trades of the Company, and mentors award recipients who are training in conservation. She is a Continuing Professional Development review assessor and student mentor for Icon and a conference abstract submissions reviewer for the International Association of Book & Paper Conservators.

Philippa is also a Director of
Cyswllt-Cadwraeth/Connect-Conserve CIC (Connect), a not-for-profit social enterprise that works to connect heritage collections with Wales-based accredited conservators in order to deliver preservation/conservation projects, as well as to provide collections care training to conservators, curators and students in Wales. She deputises for the founder of Connect on the Committee of the Welsh Federation of Museums.
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Dominic Riley is a bookbinder, artist, lecturer and teacher. He studied Art History and English at Leeds University, and bookbinding at the London College of Printing. He lived for ten years in San Francisco, where he founded the bookbinding programme at the Center for the Book: he returns there each summer to teach. He has his bindery in Cheshire, from where he travels across the UK teaching and lecturing. He specializes in restoration and design binding, has won many prizes in various competitions, and was elected Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 2008. He has written extensively on the history of the craft, and his two major articles, on Cloth Rebacking and Millimetre Binding, were published in Bookbinder, the journal of SoB. His bindings are in collections worldwide, including the British Library, the Grolier Club in New York and the V&A. In 2013 he won first prize, the Sir Paul Getty Award, in the International Bookbinding Competition. Dominic co-founded both the SoB Seminar and the SoB/DB joint workshop series. Earlier in 2019 he taught at Centro del Bel Libro in Ascona, Switzerland, and presented at the Australian Conference, followed by a teaching tour in Australia and New Zealand. He is President of the Society of Bookbinders.

Examples of Dominic’s work

Dragon Press Bindery Ltd
Ynyswen, Nantgaredig,
Carmarthen, SA32 7PG
Company Number
Registered in England & Wales
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© 2024 Dragon Press Bindery